Lesson Plan Suggestions » Reception Year (Ages 4 - 5) » Reception Year - Session ideas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Discussion ideas

We have begun to learn from the Blue dog about to behave safely around dogs.

  • What made the Blue dog cross? Stroked when having food, try to take toy away – defensive.
  • What are dogs warning signs that they are not happy? Show teeth, growling etc?
  • What can we do to help Blue not be cross? E.g. Have dog toys and children toys, never take something out of dogs mouths - ask a grown up, never pet a dog when they are eating.

Today we are going to learn more about how to behave safely around dogs.

Choose option ‘fleas’. Turn to page 10. Read scenario in time with clip
Discussion: What make you feel like you don’t want to play? Ill, tired etc. Dogs feel like that sometimes too, but they can’t tell us if they are ill or tired. Instead they show us the warning signals so we must learn that sometimes dogs don’t want to play and we should leave them alone.


Use pet dog/ dog costume to demonstrate positive and negative behaviour reinforcing points learnt so far - Demonstrate that when dogs aren’t happy they growl, show teeth. Go through similar scenarios taught so far, responding in positive/ negative ways, can they read the signs? Can they think of reasons why the dog is responding in that way?

Take photos to remind the children of the session – if time permits, add speech or think bubbles

Communication, Language and Literacy

Creating a book

Show photos of children acting out the Blue dog. Ask children to recap what was happening, how did the child / dog react? Why? What have we learnt so far? Dogs protect food/toys, dogs may react differently when they are ill
Read the book about Blue written by a school. Tell children that today we are going to make our own special book about Blue. We are going to draw posters telling children how to behave safely around dogs. E.g. don’t stroke your dog when he is eating etc.

Group work 

HA children to a draw poster and write a sentence explaining what their poster is about.
MA children to draw poster and with support writing their message
LA children draw poster and adult to scribe their meaning.


Show children each other’s posters. Tell children their posters will be made into a special book and shared around the school to help teach children how to behave safely around dogs.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

ICT and Early Science concepts

Share with the children the class book they made about the Blue dog. Recap learning points from the class book.
Tell children that today we are going to play a matching game on the interactive whiteboard.
Play game, sorting pictures of things that people need and things that dogs need into a Venn diagram. Is there anything they both need? Talk partners discuss.

Group work

Children to draw what people and dogs need
HA Children to draw what people and dogs need to label picture independently. 
MA Children to draw what people and dogs need and teacher to scribe their ideas
LA Children to sort real objects into sorting rings, then children to draw what people and dogs need as group.
Independent activity: Children to make a blue dog using plasticine.


Tell the children that Blue in going on holiday. Ask children to help pack his bag for him. What will he need?

Physical Development

Dance or PE themes around animals in general and dogs in particular
Use BBC Soundtracks or suitable themed music e.g. ‘Who let the dogs out’ as stimulus
Explore how animals move – on four legs, slithering, flying, swimming - Adult scribes list for children
Create a short sequence of three or four movements, use picture cards as the stimulus for the children to respond, or a musical sound to change from one move to another.

It is very important that the children should create their own moves and not be dictated by an adult, however, paired work may support children who find it challenging to think of their own moves
This could be extended by partner mirror work or freeze shape positions

Creative Development

Art and Design activities and Ideas
Children could:

  • Design a dog collar or lead, using fabric or coloured paper and card
  • Create a thumb pot out of plasticine or clay and create into a dog bowl with embellishments or inscribed details
  • Create a dog head out of two thumb pots joined together. Try using a garlic press for a very hairy dog effect!
  • Use found materials – cardboard boxes etc – to create dogs and / or their kennels

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

Mathematical ideas. Children could:

  • Create or use simple counting games with animals and dogs
  • Make a patterned blanket for a dog bed
  • Create a symmetrical pattern for a collar
  • Help an adult to create and then play a board game with dice, cards or spinners using dogs and their needs as a theme – see sample



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In this lesson you will learn

These are a mixture of ideas for both ‘complete sessions’ and ‘one off’ short enrichment activities for the practitioner to carry out with the children as a class or in small groups

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